University of Leicester
2017Al-AttarMMHPhD.pdf (4.44 MB)

A Multimodal Analysis of Print and Online Promotional Discourse in the UK

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posted on 2017-07-10, 09:26 authored by Maryam Mahmood Hikmet Al-Attar
This thesis is concerned with investigating promotional discourse types in the UK from more than one medium with the aim of showing and comparing the characteristics (situational, generic, linguistic, and visual) of such discourse types, where such features also reflect the complexity of this discourse. For this purpose, a range of analytical frameworks, two integrated, were used for studying five promotional discourse types, namely adverts, posts, comments, reviews, and interviewees’ responses, where each model tackled an aspect of promotional discourse. Guided by Herring’s (2007) and Biber and Conrad’s (2009) frameworks, the situational characteristics of the above first four discourse types were explained, which allow accounting for some of the linguistic patterns identified in the following analyses. Categorising these four discourse types as members of promotional genres was informed by Bhatia’s (1993; 2004; 2005) generic approach, where three moves were identified as common to all discourse types. Through this analysis, the different participants of this discourse were specified, and their different linguistic representations were scrutinised through adopting Van Leeuwen’s (1996; 2008) representation framework. The representational category of inclusion indicated adverts to be product-centred, whereas customers featured as the prominent participant in the posts, comments, and reviews. With respect to the visual analysis, the informants’ responses generally demonstrated the diversity of individuals’ understandings of visual resources, where this goes against Kress and Van Leeuwen’s (1996; 2006) interpretations. Examining these responses linguistically, first through applying Van Leeuwen’s (1996; 2008) network, they were found to complement the findings of the above linguistic analysis of products as the prominent represented objects. Secondly, investigating the interpretations using Martin and White’s (2005) appraisal theory, the evaluative nature of the informants’ responses was reflected through the attitudinal type of appreciation. The multi-analytical tools adopted succeeded in showing the diversity of the resources of promotional discourse.



Smith, Nicholas; Shaw, Philip

Date of award


Author affiliation

Department of English

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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